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“It is outrageous that Tlaib, who has repeatedly deployed anti-Semitic tropes, would promote the boycott of the only democracy in the Middle East and the one nation that fully respects human rights and guarantees freedom for Muslims, Christian and Jews. Serious questions need to be asked about Tlaib’s motivation in supporting the extremist BDS Movement, which is allied with terrorists and is not shy about its ultimate aim of destroying Israel," said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.
The World Jewish Congress is the international organization that represents Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries around the world. It advocates on their behalf towards governments, parliaments, international organizations and other faiths. The WJC represents the plurality of the Jewish people, and is politically non-partisan.
International philanthropist, investor, art collector, and former public servant, Ronald S. Lauder has served as president of the World Jewish Congress since June 2007. President Lauder also demonstrates his deep commitment to his Judaism through a wide range of other philanthropic endeavors that reach around the world. As president of the WJC, Amb. Lauder has met with countless heads of state, prime ministers and government representatives in advancing those causes that are of most concern to Jews and Jewish communities internationally. He firmly believes in the importance of supporting Israel, especially in times when the State, and its citizens are under attack, whilst also encouraging and aiding the development of vibrant Jewish communities around the world.
The Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress conducts the affairs of the WJC in accordance with the decisions of the Plenary Assembly and Governing Board. The body, led by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, consists of the WJC senior lay leadership, as well as the presidents of the largest Jewish communities around the world, and representatives of other WJC-affiliated communities and organizations, and meets at least bi-annually.
The mission of the World Jewish Congress is to foster the unity and represent the interests of the Jewish people, and to ensure the continuity and development of its religious, spiritual, cultural, and social heritage.
There has been an alarming rise in antisemitism across the globe in recent years, on both the far-right and the far-left. The growth of extreme far-right parties in Europe and a proliferation of anti-Zionist sentiment has contributed to an atmosphere in which many Jews are afraid to openly identify as such.
Recent studies, including the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)’s December 2019 second comprehensive report on discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in the EU, found that an overwhelming majority of the 16,500 self-identified Jewish respondents – 89 percent - feel that antisemitism is getting worse. This was the largest survey of Jewish people ever conducted worldwide, covering 12 EU member states, which are home to over 96 percent of Europe’s Jewish population; it follows the first survey of its kind in 2012, which covered 7 states. The 2018 report also found that 79% of those who experienced antisemitic harassment in the five years prior to the survey did not report the most serious incident to police, indicating an even darker reality than the official national crime numbers. More than one-third of all respondents said they had considered emigrating in the five years preceding the survey because they did not feel safe as Jews in the country where they live.
As the survivors of the Shoah sadly fade from the scene, the WJC will continue to ensure that the memory of the Shoah will remain at the forefront of the consciousness of the Jewish people and the international community. The WJC understands that it is up to the post-Holocaust generations to transmit the memories of the survivors, together with their moral legacies, into the future.
In order to ensure the transmittal of Holocaust memory – and the commitment to Holocaust remembrance – into the future, it is imperative to gear the WJC’s programming and activities in this regard to younger generations, and to involve all parts of civil society. The WJC’s annual #WeRemember campaign, which reaches hundreds of millions of people around the globe, is an example of how Holocaust remembrance can be made relevant to all aspects of society.
At the same time, while the WJC will never allow the Holocaust to be universalized so as to diminish its Jewish essence, the WJC is also committed to fight all forms of racism, bigotry and xenophobia directed against other national, religious, ethnic, or racial groups.
The World Jewish Congress would not be what it is without the communities in more than 100 countries across six continents it represents.Our communities, affiliated with WJC through their official national representative bodies, are as diverse as the Jewish people itself – ranging from the largest communities in Israel, the United States, France, Canada and the UK, to some of the most tiny, remote communities in countries such as Tajikistan, North Macedonia and Kenya. The communities themselves also straddle religious, ethnic and cultural differences which make up the rich tapestry of the Jewish people.
The WJC has always spearheaded dialogue between the three Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Inter-faith cooperation can make an important contribution to peace around the world and to better understanding between communities in our societies.
Christian Faiths - The WJC has well established relations with the Catholic Church, and has played a leading role, both directly and within the framework of ICJIC, in an ongoing dialogue over many decades.
Muslim Faith - Dialogue with representatives of moderate Islam is one of the most important and challenging issues at this time. The increasing gap of understanding between so-called 'Western liberal democracies' and the Islamic word is a recipe for potential civil strife and possible violence.
The Talmudic phrase “Kol Yisreal Arevim Zeh beZeh " (All Jews are responsible for one another), encapsulates the raison d’être of the WJC in all spheres of life, including Jewish communal security. Since its foundation in 1936, long before the establishment of its Global Jewish Security Department, the WJC has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of Jews and Jewish communities around the world.
Around the world, Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is constantly questioned. The WJC and its affiliates actively defend the legitimacy of Israel on all levels and support the state against unfair and biased attacks.
The story of the Jews in Arab lands still forms a major gap in most of the world's knowledge of the history of the Middle East. Jewish presence in what are now Arab lands long predates Islam and the Arab conquest of the Middle East and goes back to Biblical times. In 1945, there were approximately 866,000 Jews living in communities throughout the Arab world. Today, there are fewer than 7,000. In many Arab states, once thriving Jewish communities have all but disappeared. According to official statistics, 856,000 Jews , persecuted and under duress, were exiled from their homes in Arab countries between 1948 and the early 1970s leaving behind substantial property and other assets.